Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I see dead people...or seniors...but not the old kind...whatever

My life has been editing...chauffeuring...editing...taking pictures...editing...some cooking (but not much) get the picture.  So my blogging has been seriously lacking! 

Sometimes I feel like I'm moving in 80 different directions and only able to give 10% of myself to each task (that math doesn't make i hate math)!  I think I need a personal assistant...and a housekeeper...and a few clones of myself.  That's a good start. 

So...without further mindless ramblings...a very small sampling of another recent senior sesh:








Thursday, October 21, 2010

Senior Moment

I have had such a great time shooting seniors the last few weeks.  It's such an exciting time for them and their enthusiasm oozes throughout our sessions...I LOVE it!  I do, however, need to be more mindful of my lingo.  I tweeted something to the effect of, "Shooting seniors in Eugene today..."  And had a few people wonder if there was a shooting (like with a gun) in Eugene, or if the elderly folks' home was being evacuated, etc. 
Soooo, just to reiterate, I'm a PHOTOGRAPHER shooting with a CAMERA not a gun!  And by "seniors" I mean "soon-to-be-high-school-graduates" and not old people! 

Whew, glad we cleared that up.

And now...the ever-so-lovely, Miss A.  Don't you just love her red hair, green eyes and freckles?!  So beautiful!




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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Primary Program 2010

This last Sunday was the Children's Sacrament Meeting Primary Program.  I look forward to it every year.  It is the time when the children get to share their testimonies of Jesus Christ through their own words and beautiful, reverent music.  This years' theme was: I Know My Savior Lives. 

And it was lovely.

Christopher loves to stand at the podium.  He has no trouble getting up in front of a couple hundred people and speaking.  He memorized his part and did a great job!

Laethym has a little harder time.  She gets very nervous and a bit embarrassed.  She read her part very calmly and clearly - and did awesome!

Avonleigh (aka Hambone) LIVES to be up in front of a crowd!  This child cracks me up!  She has no qualms getting in front of a huge crowd, but is super-shy when it comes to one-on-one time at a friend's house (she's not big on playdates)!  What a funny kid!  She'll probably be an actress (Heaven forbid)!

They all sang very well (every parent can pick out their child over the PA system)!  I loved hearing the moving music and seeing all of the smiling children on the stage.  Again, FAVORITE Sunday of the year!

Good job Corvallis 3rd Ward kids and Primary staff!  You rock!





Payton isn't quite old enough to participate yet (almost though), but she wanted her picture taken too! hehe  I think her personality will be a mix of Leathym and Avonleigh's...I'll let you know next October!

One of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard.  I ADORE hearing my kids sing this!  Just had to share!

May you feel the love of your Savior as you listen.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Wisdom...the daughter of experience

Last February I was having some severe pain in one of my back molars.  Well, really it had been going on for about...6 months or so (not always severe, it came and went).  I hate going to the dentist (even though I have a wonderful's me...not you).  When the pain became more than I could bear, I finally saw my dentist and was immediately referred to an oral surgeon.  I instantly had flashbacks to my teenage years...


I sat quietly in the dentists' chair.  The room smelled faintly of latex and bubble gum flavored fluoride.  My lips were all stretched out and dry as I attempted to wet then with my all-too-dry tongue.  The dentist came back into the room with some xrays that had been taken earlier that day.  He strode across the room, stuck them on the light box projector thingy (I'm sure it has a name, and I sure I could google it...but it would...probably have taken me less time than writing this and turned to face me. 

"You have 4 impacted wisdom teeth."


"They are growing sideways INTO your back molars.  They have to be removed or you'll turn into a mutant and all of your parents hard-earned cash that they spent on those braces will be for naught." Or something like that.

"Thurgery?" I sudden felt as if I'd had a shot (or 4) of lidocaine.  I hadn't.

Then I blacked out. 

Ok, not really, but I'm sure that the blood drained completely from my face and I felt like I was going to black out.

I spent the next 5 years coming up with excuse after excuse for why I couldn't get my wisdom teeth out:
"I'm too busy right now!"
"I can't miss school!"
"I don't like the surgeon."

But really, deep down, I was SCARED!  Scared to death of the pain, the sounds, of not being able to breath (it's a deep-rooted fear of mine to suffocate).  So there you have it.  In my mind, the bad FAR outweighed the good and I did not see it as a "necessary" surgery. 

When I finally resolved myself to having the surgery, I went in for a consultation and the surgeon told me that he wouldn't put me under because I had never been under before and because of my weight, he wasn't going to be the first to do it!  Really?  I was outta there.

And then the time came when I was married and no longer on my parents blessed insurance.  But those 4 silly teeth didn't bother me, so I put it far from my mind...


Fast forward a decade and my molar was killing me!  I had to wait a couple of days to get in to see the surgeon. 

When he checked out my beyond-salvation molar and informed me that it would have to be removed surgically, he mentioned that my wisdom teeth were starting to rub on a couple of other molars and would eventually decay the roots and cause lots and lots of problems. 

So, as a 31 year old woman, my time had come up.  I was finally having to go under the knife. 

And I opted to be put under (having been under general anesthesia twice, before). 

My wonderful mom took some time off to come up and be my designated driver the day of surgery. 

All went well...I had an AMAZING surgeon with an awesome staff!  I'll elaborate on them another time.

My mom stayed with us for a few days and helped keep the kids (and my enormous cheeks) under control.  I had some serious swelling. 

I didn't remember how bad the first few days were...

Which brings us to why the heck I'm even telling this story.

I was tweeting with a blog mentor, and somehow accidentally attached this picture:
Steph post wisdom surgery
My phone seriously hates me!  I was mortified.  But, I have no shame, so now I'm sharing the hideousness with all of you.  Because, now that I've gotten over's kinda funny.

I don't even know who took this (with my phone)...Mom?  Chris?  Me?  Coulda been.

So, the moral of the story:  Get your wisdom teeth out when you're YOUNG!  And be careful when you're texting/tweeting...because it could be a little awkward.  I'm just sayin'.
My friend, Katie, sent this out on FB a few weeks ago and I couldn't help but think of it while I was writing this.  It is HIL.ARIOUS!

And now, some pictures of my cute kidlets...who will all be getting their wisdom teeth out when they're teenagers!




PS - Do you like my new watermark/logo?...lots more on that coming soon!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Count Your Blessings

On my way home from a super-fun family session last night, I had lots on my mind.  Stuff like, "I wonder if Chris and the kids are home yet?  I wonder what the weather is going to be like for the sessions tomorrow?  I wonder how fast I can get these photos edited?"  And most importantly, "What the heck am I going to cook for dinner?!"
Then, in a split second, my thoughts vanished as I watched, horror-filled, as the van in front of me went into a violent swerve and veered wildly off the highway and into a blackberry thicket, just feet from the telephone pole.  I don't think I could even process what I had just seen; but I pulled over to the shoulder and dialed 911.  
Those 911 dispatchers are amazing!  He was totally calm as I tried to relay everything I had seen and was seeing in a jumbled mess of panicky-out-of-breath speech.  Three other cars who had witnessed the frightening event, pulled over and we all made our way down the embankment together.  
What I saw when I got there was a relief, for I had expected so much worse.  The van had bounced (yes, BOUNCED) back and forth so violently from side to side that I still can not believe that it didn't roll over.  The sweet elderly woman at the wheel was calm and quiet.  She had immediate black and blue bruising on one side of her face (probably from the airbag) and a cut on her forehead.  She had quite a bit of pain in her side and was very nauseous. 
We talked to her about who she was, where she was going, what she was going to do when this was all over.  Anything to keep her from trying to exit the car. 
In the passenger seat was a small lady with Down's Syndrome who seemed perfectly fine and wanted to know if they would still be going to college (they were on their way there for a symposium).  I was so relieved!  I wanted to hug her for being ok!  We couldn't see a scratch on her, and I hope that remained the case after all was said and done!
We were only a couple of miles North of the hospital, so it didn't take long for the emergency responder crews to arrive.  We had 2 State Troopers on the scene within minutes, and the ambulance wasn't far behind.  It was quite a production.  Amazing to witness. 
As the EMT's starting working on getting the driver and her passenger out of the van, a State Trooper took down my information and told me I could go.
As it turned out, I couldn't go, because my van had been blocked in by the emergency vehicles.  Soooo...I asked Officer "I" if I could take some pictures of what was going on - nothing revealing (or distasteful), just the amazing work that was going into helping these dear ladies.  He said it was fine as long as I didn't get in the way.
So I stayed and documented our wonderful Corvallis and State of Oregon Police, Fire and EMT's
I can honestly say that I have NO idea how they do their jobs every day!  I was so flustered and shaky and wanted to do irrational things (like hug the crash victims)!
When the ambulances cleared out, I was able to get to my car and finally head home. 
Where everyone was there, happy and healthy.
My wonderful husband had dinner ready and we all sat down and ate together.
Never take it for granted.




Thank you to all of the brave men and women who put their lives (and sanity) on the line every day to assist others.  

And especially to Todd/Uncle Todd/Officer Zahlmann - we're proud of you!  

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Crazy little thing called blogging

The world is such a small place.  You know how even when you live in a large-ish city (58,000), you still run into someone you know every time you go to the grocery store?  I love that.  Unless I'm in my grubbiest clothes with no make-up.  Then it's a little awkward. 

Well, the WWW is like that too.  That's right, the World Wide Web.  Do people still call it that?  I don't even type "www" for a web address anymore.  I'm suddenly feeling a little lost.  Help me. 

Anywho, the WWW is like the grocery store/restaurant/coffee shop/park that you visit every week (day?) and always wind up running into someone you know or making a new friend.  AND, it doesn't matter if I show up in grubbies (or pjs)!  Did I mention I love that?

Well, one of my new friends that I'd like for you to meet is Pamela Jo at Theres Just Life.  We met while hanging out a PW's place, 'cause we're cool like that!  She has been so kind to always pay a visit and tell the kids how nice they look.  Well, last week she came bearing gifts: a shout out to my lil 'ol family photo blog (and a few others who are far more talented than I)! 

It was like being the new kid in school and having the sweet and funny, popular girl come over to show you around...and introduce you to her friends (who also happen to be sweet and funny)!  I just wanted to throw my arms around her and give her a great big hug!  Because now I have several new friends that I hope to run into while browsing the isles of the Blogosphere!

So here is where I return the kindness and pay it forward!  For your very-much viewing enjoyment, a few of the new places I have found to hang out...because they are totally people that I would sit down and have a cup of hot chocolate with!

Zenmaster Lauren - Like my friend, Pamela Jo, I found Lauren through PW.  Her photography is art.  It is beautiful and inspiring and well worth your time!

Sheye Rosemeyer - A wonderful photographer from the land of Oz.  She has the most heartbreaking story of loss and the love of a family who has been tested and tried and found steadfast.  I admire her so.

Bubba-Loo Photography - I met Kelly at the Blue Lily workshop that we attended in August.  She is a new and very talented photographer in the Carlsbad, CA area (and traveling to UT)!  She just launched her adorable site yesterday, so I had to give a shout out to her for all of her hard work!  You go girl!

Just a few awesome peeps to keep an eye on.

Thank you all for stopping by and being friends...and not judging me if I choose to wear pjs while I blog!  I appreciate the many helping hands...and I hope to return all of the kindnesses shown to me

Because I firmly believe...that many hands make light work!
Avonleigh's adorable little soccer team transporting the ball bag across the field.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fun with Food Friday....uh, Sunday?

I started this blog Friday night...and I'm just now finishing it!  Yikes!  
Friday was Laethym's night to choose what to make for dinner.  She picked out a super-fun recipe from Family Fun Magazine (we LOVE Family Fun)!!  So we all got involved and documented our adventure!
The girls gathering the cast of characters

Yep, that's my Payton!

And sweet Peanut

Yummy, yummy...and really easy too!

Opening the crescent rolls


Rolling the hot dogs (pigs) in the blanket

Baking up

The accessories

Fresh out of the oven

Daddy helping Avonleigh

I DIE over this picture.  Sisters.  I literally see them as teenagers when I look at this...I hope they are always so close.

Just. like. this.

Putting on the finishing touches (no pun intended)

Our finished product!  Definitely not as cute as in the magazine...but boy did we have fun making them!

Out to the garden to gather fresh veggies for our Greek Cucumber Salad

I had to include this.  Why, you ask?  Because I LOVE it and I look forward to it EVERY Holiday season!  I get so excited when I see it in the grocery store for the first time each year!  It's my guilty pleasure (because really, I'm not a soda gal).

But...I don't feel as guilty as I should.

I wonder if there's a Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash Anonymous Group...'cause maybe I should feel guilty?


What's your guilty pleasure?